There’s something about summer – the long days, the warm air and the excitement of new adventures – that makes us want to jump into a car with our friends and just drive some place new. The best road trip I’ve ever done was along the east coast of Australia, past beautiful beaches, buzzing cities and small sandy towns. Whatever route you’re doing, whether you’ve planned the whole thing mile for mile, or whether you’ve just got a general direction and taking each day as it comes, it’s always a good idea to bring a few essentials along to make the journey that bit safer and more enjoyable!
“Happiness is a road trip with a good playlist” – said someone wise once…On this note, I’ll start with number one on the list:
Whether you’re driving or in the passenger seat, the long road awaits – and there’s nothing worse than watching the minutes and the hours drag by without something to entertain you! At home before you head off, put together all your favourite tunes on a good old fashioned CD or playlist on your iPod or phone (make sure you have an Aux cable too for this) – but make sure you bring along a good mix of tunes to fit your mood – from upbeat to sing-alongs to more chilled and reflective.
Google Maps is great. But even with a built in GPS sat-nav or maps on your phone, don’t rely solely on this – driving along highways or motorways or country or coastal roads, you can easily lose signal. So take note of the roadsigns wherever you can. But I’d also recommend getting a physical road map of the country or region – this also turns into a great little souvenir when you’re home which you can use to draw out the route you did!
3. Travel Apps
On my most recent road trip adventure up the east coast of Australia, there was one app I couldn’t have lived without – Wiki camps. Based on your location, it tells you all the nearest campsites by distance, paid and free, powered and non-powered. Other than this, tune in to the local radio to keep up to date with the local news in that particular region or country and for travel updates on the roads, The Weather Channel for the local weather and Trip Advisor for activities to do in the places you’re visiting. And make sure you download all these before you set off as they’ll be invaluable on the road!
Suncream, a basic first aid kit, tissues, anti-histamines and insect bite cream – make sure you stock up on these essentials before you set off, as there’s nothing worse than being stuck without any on a hot (or cold) motorway, miles from the nearest city and with no petrol stations or services in sight! I spent a whole day in the car with a swollen leg from a bad reaction to a mosquito bite and wished I had been more prepared!
5. A Good Camera
You’re going off on an adventure – seeing different parts of the world and there’s going to be plenty of photo opportunities along the way – whether its beautiful scenery, pinterest-worthy snaps of the road from inside the car, or funny situations along the way you won’t want to forget! And you’ll be pleased when you get home and can relive the experience looking through them all!
6. A Best Buddy!
With a lot of hours on the road, you’re going to get tired and restless and you’re bound to have times when you feel down, cranky or just plain homesick. Make sure you’re doing the trip with someone you know well, someone who can put up with you at your worst and still love you – and vice versa! Time spent with a partner or ultimate best friend can turn even the most ordinary trip into a memorable adventure…